Who’s Pulling the Strings?


“The Puppet Masters only concern is how well they can manipulate their marionettes.” Steven Redhead

Since about the middle of January, I have been hearing about the Coronavirus outbreak. Towards the end of that month, I heard a molecular biologist talk about the virus. She referenced an article in “The Lancet” published January 24th. That article studied people in Wuhan who had contracted the virus, some of whom had no connection to the wet market.  She also stated that the researchers found that some parts of the RNA sequence of the virus had been genetically manipulated.

I found the article in the Lancet and read it but could not find the information about the genetic mutation of the virus. She may have referred to another article but I missed the reference. Since then, I have heard varying scientists talk about where they believe the virus initiated. Their opinions are varied and I believe many of them are working in good faith. Others, I am not so sure about. What concerns me in the scientific community is the existence of a hidden money trail. Who are the researchers receiving grant monies from and how does that influence their opinions? In other words, who is really pulling the strings? It is a legitimate question and one we should ask when we evaluate the information we are being given. 

“If you have the ability to see the things behind the scenes, then you have the greatest talent one can ever have because there is almost always something else behind the scenes.” Mehmet Murat Idan

As we move forward in the process of dealing with this virus on a societal basis, we need to be able to identify its origins. We will then know what we are really dealing with. Is it a man-made virus or is it a virus that just happened to be transmitted from a horseshoe bat to a human? This virus is exponentially contagious, able to spread around the world in record time, kill our most vulnerable citizens and destroy our economies. We have a responsibility to find out the truth when dealing with something so insidious. 

Science is supposed to be based on facts. Research into the RNA sequence of this virus should produce similar results no matter where the research is done. Unfortunately, after listening to different scientists, that does not seem to be the case. Because of that, we must seek to find out who is pulling the strings so we can know which information is the most reliable. Then we will be in the position to draw informed conclusions.


sword-2140940_640 (1)

“I thought I was bulletproof or Superman there for a while. I thought I’d never run out of nerve. Never.” Evel Knievel

We’ve all come through the last two months together and now states and countries are starting to open up. Throughout this process, I have noticed several different attitudes towards the Corona Virus. Some people feel they are absolutely bulletproof in regards to COVID19, especially the young. This group may not think about washing their hands after going out in public. Others are concerned, maybe don’t feel entirely bulletproof, but don’t think there is much to worry about. This group is probably washing their hands at the very least. Still others, depending on their age and comorbidity factors, are taking the threat seriously and are washing their hands, social distancing and wearing masks. This group feels the least bulletproof of all.

I don’t know about you, but I have probably been in each of these groups at one time or another during this process. Initially when I was thinking about and praying about it, the Lord gave me a deep peace. I took that to mean that I didn’t have to worry about the virus. I was a bit cavalier about wearing a mask although I did wash my hands after going out in public. About three weeks into the shelter in place order, I ate some fish for dinner that for some reason didn’t agree with me. That evening I was sicker than I had ever been. I felt nauseated the next day and was careful about what I ate for the next week. The lesson here? I was not bulletproof. 

I have no idea what the peace the Lord gave me meant. Was I going to be spared from the virus? Was I going to get it and be healed from it? Was I going to get it and die? I don’t know the answer to those questions but I did begin to take the threat more seriously. I started wearing a mask in public, was more careful about social distancing, washed my hands for a longer period of time and disinfected surfaces when I came in from shopping. To encapsulate my thoughts I give you a quote that I really love:

“We are not all in the same boat. We are all in the same storm.” Damian Barr

As the country opens up and we are given more freedom, we need to respect each other regarding our response to the threat of this virus. If the median age of death is 82, then the virus has taken many who were a lot older than that. Yes, it has affected some who were younger, but in general the young are pretty much bulletproof. The rest of us, depending on our age and comorbidity factors will have to think about our response going forward as retail stores, salons and airlines open back up. 

What am I going to do? I don’t know. I will just have to move through this process one step at at time and make my decisions from there. I do pray for protection for myself, my family and friends daily and I trust the Lord will take care of each one of us. I will not however, regard myself as bulletproof. What about you? What has your response been to this virus? 

“I returned and saw under the sun that – the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.” Eccl. 9:11

Photo by Mike’s Photos. Courtesy of Pixabay!

A Time Out


When you were a child, did you ever get sent to your room for a “time-out?” If you did, you know that you didn’t go there with the friend you got in trouble with. You also didn’t go there with the brother or sister you were fighting with. You were basically “in solitary” for a while.

We are at a time in our world when we have all been given a time out. The difference is that we are not in our rooms alone. The whole world is basically in a forced lockdown. When we see photos from friends and relatives around the world, we realize that we are all in this together. This should give us a feeling of solidarity and unity. This epidemic is a world-wide event  and it is something that we will all remember together.

What can we do while we are experiencing our “time-out?” We can keep our perspective and realize that it will not last forever. We can think about and pray for those essential workers who are working in the public arena, doing more than an ordinary public service. They are literally keeping things running, i.e. our medical workers are keeping the hospitals and clinics open for us. The retail workers are keeping the grocery stores open and those in the transportation industry are keeping the flow of  goods moving where they are most needed. We can also pray for our government officials who are trying to figure out the best way to keep the public safe. They are under a tremendous strain as they attempt to navigate this public health crisis. When it is over, may we never take any of them for granted again.

Yes, we are in a time-out, but it doesn’t have to be an unproductive time. May we use this unexpected gift of time to lift up and encourage our neighbors and friends. May it draw us closer to those near and far as we experience this unique time together.

Image by Lauren Lafond. Courtesy of Pixabay.



Sunday was a lovely day and I decided to go for a walk in the park near my home. Most people are cordial as you pass by and greet you with a friendly “Good Afternoon.” It is a pleasure to interact with others, even from a safe distance these days, as our interactions seem so much more precious than they used to. Even a friendly “hello” from a neighbor across the street brightens my day. 

As I was finishing my walk, a lady walked by in her mid-twenties. She looked very angry and would not even look at me. She was Asian and I think Chinese. I didn’t think much about it except that she must have been having a very bad day. I thought about her a few more times that afternoon and then forgot about her. The next day, I read in the New York Times that many Chinese Americans are being harassed by others. They are being called names, spit on and even physically attacked. I was shocked at this behavior and began to wonder if perhaps someone had said something to the woman I had seen the day before.

For a bit of personal perspective, I grew up in a region close to the California border. About twenty-three miles south of where I lived was a Japanese Internment Camp near Tulelake, California.  About 120,000 Japanese Americans were placed in one of those camps during World War II. As a child, I toured the camp and tried to imagine how daily life must have been for those interred there. When I grew up, I hoped we had learned our lesson about displaying hatred and prejudice to those of a different nationality or race during difficult times. 

Apparently, not so.  Again, we are seeing fear and hatred rear their ugly heads. People feel out of control having to deal with the vagaries of the coronavirus and they are lashing out at innocent people of Chinese descent. Do we honestly think that our neighbor, those we work with or those who run the Chinese restaurants in our cities, had anything to do with the Coronavirus? Really?

If we have the opportunity, let’s make an effort to reach out with kindness to those Chinese Americans living among us. Let’s let them know they are safe around us and try to treat them the same way we would like to be treated if we were in their position. If there was ever a time to apply the Golden Rule, it is certainly in this situation. After all,  “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you,” should not be just another positive maxim, it should be the standard we use as we continue to weather this difficult crisis together.